The moon is very far away (225,622 miles to 252,088 miles depending on its position in its elliptical orbit around the Earth). NASA had to be very careful about the calculations they made to send someone to the moon especially since the moon is a moving target. In this activity, the kids are trying to hit the moon (a nut suspended on a string) that is swinging back and forth. They found it very difficult to hit the moving target!
|We set up a bright lamp (our sun) and DD is moving the ping-pong ball around the earth (orange). Meanwhile LD is slowly moving the earth/orange around the sun/lamp.|
Objects appear larger, the closer they are to you:
|Now the kids are blocking out the orange with the smaller ping-pong ball.|
|We drew pictures of the sun and showed how there was a small area where light got through with a bit of light (penumbra) and only a small portion where the sunlight couldn’t pass at all (umbra).|
For the first part of our unit (when we talked about gravity) we used. Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding: A Science Curriculum for K-2 (affliliate link) by Bernard J. Nebel
We got some of our ideas for our astronomy unit from Janice VanCleave’s Astronomy for Every Kid (affiliate link). I love her books!
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.
You may be interested in the posts in this series:
- Earth Science Unit — Gravity
- Earth Science — Gravity: the planets, moon and space
- Astronomy Unit: Refraction, Vacuum, Saturn’s Rings
- Astronomy Unit: Inner and Outer Planets, The Asteroid Belt
- Astronomy Unit: The Moon (Day 1)
- Astronomy Unit: The Moon (Day 2)
- Phases of the Moon Activity: Homemade Oreo Cookie Recipe (Yum!!)
You might also be interested in these related posts (we did these when my kids were older… ie. elementary):
- Earth Science Packet: Layers of the Earth, Plate Tectonics, Earthquakes, Volcanoes, 4 Types of Mountains and More!
- Earth Science Layers of the Earth Activity
- Earth Science: Plate Movement Hands-On Activiites
- Earth Science Packet: Layers of the Atmosphere
- Earth Science Activities: Earthquakes, Plate Movement and Mountain Making
- Learning about Latitude and Longitude, Using a Compass
- Earth Science: Timeline of Earth Activity – A Montessori activity that is meant to impress kids with the enormity of time on Earth.
- Earth’s Geologic Timeline - How scientists divide Earth’s history into eons and eras
- Earth Science: Plate Movement Hands-On Activities
- How to Make a Earthquake Shake Table
- Awesome Gelatin Volcano and other Activities
- Earth Science Activities: Tissue Paper Volcano
- Free Water and Water Cycle Resources
- Topographic Maps
- The Three Types of Rocks: Sedimentary, Metamorphic, Igneous
- Free Rocks and Minerals Packet
- World Biomes Pin Map
- Preschool Geography